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Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Patagonia Provisions Soups > Owner Review by Richard Lyon

PATAGONIA PROVISIONS SOUPS
Owner Review by Richard Lyon
November 12, 2020
Patagonia soup

PERSONAL DETAILS and BACKPACKING BACKGROUND

Male, 74 years old  
Height: 6' 3" [1.91 m]
Weight: 205 lb [(91 kg])
Email address: Montana DOT angler AT gmail DOT com
Home: Outside Bozeman, Montana USA, in the Bridger Mountains

I've been backpacking for half a century, most often in the Rockies. I do at least one weeklong trip every summer, and often take three-day trips.  I'm usually camping in alpine terrain, at altitudes 5000 to 10000 ft (1500 - 3000 m).  I prefer base camp backpacking, a long hike in with day trips from camp.  Though always looking for ways to reduce my pack weight, I still tend to include my favorite camp conveniences. I always sleep in a floored tent and like hot meals. Backcountry trips are often planned around skiing or ski touring in the winter or fishing opportunities in warmer weather.

THE PRODUCTS

I encourage the reader to begin with my earlier Owner Review on this site of Patagonia Provisions Seafood products for some background on this company's approach to packaged food. Organic, responsibly sourced, attractively packaged, 1% for the Planet, and careful attention to quality. Carrying through on my suggestion to myself, I took advantage of an online sale to sample some of the company's other products. This Review addresses three of the soup offerings - Green Lentil, Red Bean Chili, and Black Bean. [Patagonia Provisions also offers a Spicy Red Bean Chili.] Stay tuned for future Reviews on breakfast grains and fruit snack bars.

Manufacturer: Patagonia Provisions, patagoniaprovisions.com
Listed weights: Lentil 4.4 oz [124 g]; Chili, 6.1 oz [173 g], Black Bean 5.8 oz [163 g]. I measured the Lentil and found, as with the seafood, that the listed weight meant the weight of the contents, not including the package.
Packaging: See photo above. Each is 6 x 7.5 inches/15 by 22 cm and intended as two servings. [Contradicting the website, the Chili package says 2.5 servings. For me that simply means two larger servings.]
MSRP: $7 US per package. Available at a discount if purchased in a 6-pack or 12-pack.
Guaranty: "If you ever order Provisions and aren’t 100% satisfied, we will happily refund you in full. In other words, we’re proud to stand by the flavor, nutrition, sourcing and quality of everything we make."

Ingredients

Green Lentil includes precooked lentils, bulgur wheat, chopped onions, green and red bell peppers, minced garlic, onion powder, ground rice hulls, yeast extract, sunflower oil, salt, and [unidentified] spices. All organic and almost all dehydrated. Recommended additions: a dollop of sour cream or yogurt before serving.

Chili has precooked red beans, tomato powder, ground red chili, carrots, red bell peppers, ground rice hulls, cumin, garlic, chipolte peppers, yeast extract, and salt.
All organic and almost all dehydrated. Recommended additions: a dollop of sour cream, crumbled Cotija cheese, and a sprinkling of chopped onions.

Black bean has precooked black beans, freeze-dried corn, tomatoes, red bell peppers, onion powder, ground rice hulls, yeast extract, ground chipolte peppers, minced garlic, sunflower oil, and salt.
All organic and almost all dehydrated. Recommended additions: crumbled Cotija cheese, avocado slices, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Cooking instructions

These are the same for all: boil two cups [450 ml] of water, add the contents of the packet to the pot, bring back to the boil, simmer for ten minutes. Or, "to conserve fuel on the trail," boil contents for one minute, cover and turn off the fuel, and allow to steep for nine minutes.

FIELD CONDITIONS

I like soup for lunch on day hikes, particularly in the spring and fall. Normally I'll prepare my soup at home and fill a vacuum bottle, but, for the sake of product evaluation, once burn bans were lifted this fall I included my new Jetboil Flash stove in my daypack and used it to prepare the Patagonia Provisions soups along the trail. Thanks to the pandemic all my hiking and backpacking has been within easy driving distance of my home, in the Bridger and Gallatin Mountains in Montana or various fishing venues in Yellowstone National Park. Elevation ranged from about 5000-7500 feet [1500-2300 m].  As I have the opportunity to select better weather for day hikes, almost all of these jaunts avoided precipitation, with temperatures from about freezing to 85 F [30 C]. Overcast days are preferable for fishing, and that has meant the occasional squall or misty rain.

I've also tried out the soups on a couple of short overnight trips to Forest Service cabins in the Bridgers and Gallatins, when I prepared them, with additions, as dinner for two. These were rain-free trips with dinnertime temperatures at about 45-50 F [7-10 C].  I boiled the water for the soups on a wood-fired stove in the cabin.


OBSERVATIONS

Let's get the most important thing out of the way - all three soups are very tasty and full of flavor. Each satisfies my preference for moderately spicy food in the backcountry, with the chipolte shining through but not overwhelming the other veggies. That goes for the lentil soup as well; I detect some chili or chipolte among the unidentified spices. The lentil is my favorite, but I'll be buying more of all three.

Patagonia's recommended additions do enhance the packets' contents. Sour cream, grated cheese, and chopped sweet onions help any of the soups. That I've consumed the soups on day hikes or overnight hikes only has allowed me to pack these [and the other supplements listed in the next paragraph] to beef up the soups. Sour cream or fresh meat is not usually found in my pantry on longer backpacks, but I regularly include small packets or containers of grated cheese, grated onions, olive oil, and dried meat.

Speaking of beef, all three soups and all recommended additions
are meatless. That cuts against my dietary and taste bud inclinations generally and particularly when it comes to hiking and camping. I prefer soups made with meat stocks and regularly include meats in my soups and stews - ham with split peas, sausage with lentil, and so on. Although I find the Patagonia soups delicious on their own, to my taste each is much improved with non-vegan additions. For those whose principles allow, I suggest bacon bits, sliced breakfast sausage, or ground beef to bolster any of the three, and chicken pieces for lentil or bean. Lemon juice is another worthy addition to the lentil. I plan to continue experimenting with meat, vegetable, and other additions. I like my soups on the thick side, and one reason I add stuff to these soups is to increase viscosity.

The simple cooking instructions on the packet, summarized above, yield a creamy soup with no unrehydrated bits but a bit of crunch. Just right! On the trail I've always prepared the soup in the cooking vessel of my Jetboil, using the nine-minute steeping alternative. The packet is too small to add two cups of water, which is why I haven't tried to brew it there. Given recent frustration with opening prepackaged food in camp, it's worth noting that each Patagonia packet has a notch on each side of the packet, making it unnecessary to unsheath a knife or scissors.

Each packet provides two decent lunch servings, or, when I'm alone, one large portion with enough left over for a snack along the trail or upon returning to the trailhead. With additions, a packet will work for dinner for two.

WHAT I LIKE

Easy to prepare. Very easy.

They taste great, with a bit of zip. Just right for the outdoors.

Packet size.

WHAT I'D CHANGE

Betraying my political incorrectness here, I'd like meat added.




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Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Patagonia Provisions Soups > Owner Review by Richard Lyon



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